This weekend’s Washington Post article examined the use of social media in the recent Egyptian protests. The article pointed out that Twitter cannot create a revolution, but officials acknowledge that social media sites can accelerate the formation of these protests.
I love watching the communication landscape change, as I’ve pointed out in other posts. Recent tech-saavy Egyptians used Twitter and other social media platforms for a multitude of functions:
– To gather: Using multiple hashtags, and most notably #jan25, citizens across the country — and the world — could communicate plans for the protests
– To share with the world: These recent protests exemplify the increased role citizen journalism has in our media world. Major news outlets are posting videos taken from cell phones from Egyptian citizens and using that to the story. Journalists on the ground are utilizing multiple platforms to post short updates, instantly.
… I realize that social media did not create this revolution. (CNN’s John Sutter wrote a great article today, exploring the different opinions that exist about the recent role of the Internet in the Egyptian protests.) However, our increasingly connected world is ever reliant on these new communication methods. These protests have shown that social media is more than just a way to connect with family or friends; it’s encouraging grassroots movements; it’s perpetuating change; it’s connecting people millions of miles away to instantaneously gather for a common cause.